At the moment of filing this post, news is already in, that Egyptian Air force jets are already roaring over the skies of Cairo, and Alexandria, and it’s the dawn of sixth tumultuous day in Middle East, of what is perceived as an “Arab Revolt,” the second time in history, where a domino effect is taking place, in a series, of bloody revolt, after the fall of Eastern European puppet communist states during ’89-90. Thousands of words in newsprints have already been used, the hackneyed journalistic terms overused and again, and overdose of punditry being the order of the day.

So is it that bad? Are we really living up to an Arab revolt, one of those defining moments in history, which can shape the future of generations to come? Well, hate to shatter the egos of the Pundits, but not quite frankly…

Firstly, Arab states are not uniform…or ideologically hegemonistic as Eastern Europe states of the Cold war time. Tunisia, Algeria, are mostly secular, with educated and democratically minded people, Egypt is superficially open and secular, though a lot of undercurrent of militant Islamism is ever present. Jordan is a monarchy. And Yemen is a Sheikhdom, and one of the poorest of Arabia. Lebanon is totally different from all of them, as it is not a state at all…rather a power sharing fragile system between Saudi backed Sunnis, Iran and Syria backed Shia Hezbollah, and the Christian Maronites covertly enjoying the backing of Israel, somehow going on prevent a mutually destructive civil war. It’s also the most explosive and volatile situation of them all.

Egypt was the first state in the Arab world, which went the practical way of making peace with Israel. Its also openly pro-western, alongside Yemen, without the freedom of speech and ideas ofcourse. But therein is the irony of the situation.

Middle Eastern social fabric is different from the European, American, Indian, or South-East Asian countries. The prospect of a total freedom and democracy there is still a distant dream, as to be quite honest the mindset of the people is, if I put it mildly, a bit too militantly religious. In some places it is also ferociously patriarchal, with women regarded as second class citizen, and mostly in the not so educated zones.

A couple of thousand people marching, doing wanton destruction and rioting in the streets won’t possibly change the situation overnight. Yes, Tunisia happened, but as I said, they are generally wealthier and better educated, and the situations are different, so are the demands by those in the street.

While in Tunisia the predominantly secular demonstrations were mostly in economic terms, and demands were for jobs, foods, and other necessities, in Egypt, and Yemen it is leaderless, and not much democratic in nature. The destruction of Museums, and the Pharaoh mummies, and the loot of jewelry, smells of Muslim Brotherhood hand, and is eerily similar to the cultual destruction of Bamyan by the Talibans. So the scope of this spontaneous demonstration being hijacked by people with different agendas is real, and democracy will be a far cry, as always. The fear of secular autocracy giving way to militant theocracy is far too real and imminent.

Also money, the most important factor. Unbelievable amount of money is at stake, if Arabia topples. And capitalism always wins over ideology, we saw that with the Red Shirts in Thailand not so long back.

So what is to be done? Well for a start, distribution of concentrated wealth. If people have money, and food, and jobs, they won’t frankly bother to run down the streets with Molotov Cocktails. Encourage secular representation in channels of Mass Media. And slowly and carefully prepare and present a second generation of democratic leaders. Just today morning was reading an excellent article in Washington Post,  about how President George W. Bush was right about Middle East.

Yes, much misunderstood and maligned the sardonic man from Texas with dreams of liberty's light actually understood what is rotting the stem of the Middle Eastern society from the core. It’s freedom, and the lack their of. Not the freedom to run across streets and arbitrarily beat up Burqa wearing women, but freedom of speech, expression, and the right to basic livelihood. And just sitting and hoping for “change” is not sufficient, as some Nobel peacer winning politicians think. One has to initiate it, strategise, plan, and implement. And as Mark Mardell of BBC rightly wrote in his blog, its not change, but change one can “live with.”

A change for the better, not for the worse.

Before ending, a BREAKING NEWS. Netherlands freezed diplomatic ties with Iran, over hanging of Dutch-Iranian woman. Yes, forget Arabia, its Persia one should look now. That’s the Nuclear bomb, about to explode. No pun intended.